Twist App Alternatives

It turns out that there are lots and lots of folks looking for Twist App alternatives just like me. I’ve been trying several possible replacements out, but each has its own problems.

1. cursor42 was mentioned by its developer in a comment on my original post noting that Twist had shut down. In this app, you set up meets or you can join an existing meet. The problem is that you are tell the app when you are going to arrive. That can be a big problem if you hit unexpected traffic or other delays. After you create the meet, you have to share an invite code “to allow others to join your meet”. You can text it, email it or a few other options. Sending it to someone else’s cursor42 app is not an option. And, if you don’t upgrade to the premium version, the code can only be used by one person. There are also ads on the free version. Sorry, Chris. Just can’t recommend this one.

cursor42

2. en route was the next app we tried out. The user interface is… odd. It draws from your calendar and the receiver has to accept or nothing happens. All in all, it’s just too many steps and if old routes aren’t deleted, they can cause problems. We had planned on writing a more in-depth review, but Tom got so frustrated with en route’s weirdness that he deleted it from his phone.

en route   en route 2

3. beebump was another one mentioned. One look at it and all I have to say is “no”. I couldn’t even bring myself to install it to get screen shots of it.

4. Glympse – And we’re back where we started. It was the location sharing app that we used before we found Twist. It’s been updating several times since I reviewed it last year and it works even better now. While it’s not as slick as Twist was, it’s still the best alternative out there for now.

Glympse

Twist App Shuts Down as of 4/1/14

[Also check out our Twist App Alternatives post for more information.]

At first, it seemed like a cruel April Fools joke when the following message appeared on the Twist Facebook fan page:

Twist App Shuts Down

But, that announcement was the only official word that the Twist app was shutting down. The next day, Andy Ihnatko (“Chicago Sun-Times technology columnist and Internationally Beloved Industry Figure”) tweeted, “Looks like @MyTwist is dead. Their servers are down and the app’s not available in the iTunes/Play stores. Pouring out a 404…”. There was a glimmer of hope that perhaps they had been purchased, but later in the day, Andy’s contact at Twist confirmed our fears. As Andy put it, “yup, the app’s dead.” Then the web site was taken down and the app was removed from both the iOS App Store and the Google Play store.

I about had to sit down when I heard the news. We had just introduced my college student nephew to the joys of Twist last weekend. Throughout this horrible winter, the last words to my husband each morning as I was heading to work were always, “I love you and I’ll send you a Twist to let you know I got there.”

So what now? The Twist app is still on your iOS and Android devices if you already had it. But, when you try to set up a Twist, you will eventually get the message like the one below:

Twist App Not Working

I know I should just delete it, but I keep hoping it will come make somehow, some way.

I wrote my review comparing Twist to its not-quite-the-same competitor Glympse last June. Since then, it has consistently been the most popular post on RadioCarla.com. Other posts have had more visits in one day, but none were so consistent in their views as that one post. There are a lot of people still interested in using this app and many of them went to check it out from here. I’m sure a lot of those Twist app users would be happy to pay for the app if it came back.

In the mean time, it’s back to Glympse for me. But I’d switch back to Twist or a Twist clone in a heart beat.

— Carla

Review: Glympse and Twist apps

[NOTE: The Twist app shut down as of April 1, 2014. See my post on this surprising news for more information.]

Trying to coordinate several people meeting at one place is never easy. We all can recall waiting what seemed like forever for someone to pick you up or being the only one at the restaurant waiting for everyone else to show up. Sometimes, you just want to know that a person you care about made it home safe.

Luckily, smart phone apps are providing solutions to these problems. The first one Tom and I tried was Glympse. With this app, you select a contact or multiple contacts, set a duration, add a message if you want and then hit send. Your contact then receives a text or email message to follow your progress towards your destination. You can see whether your contact is watching your Glympse or not too. On the plus side, Glympse is available for Android, iOS, WinPhone 7/8 and Blackberry. On the minus side, because Glympse is constantly checking your location via the phone’s GPS, it can be a major drain on your battery life and your contact has to keep looking at the Glympse to see where you are.

Glympse

Recently, we switched to another app called Twist – On My Way. This app takes a different approach to the problem. When you make a new Twist, you select your location by searching for the name or entering the address. After confirming the destination, you select the recipient(s) from your contact or by entering a phone number, email address or name. If you meeting that person at the destination, you can request their ETA too. Twist gives you the estimated time to get there and you can chose by car, by public transportation, by foot or by bike. You can schedule Twists for later if you like. Even the Twists that you create to be sent right now won’t send until the app picks up that you are actually leaving. So, if you get caught in the hallway on the way out, your recipient won’t get inaccurate information.

Once you actually begin towards your destination, Twist sends a notification to the other party with your estimated time or arrival. If the other person doesn’t have the Twist app installed, a text message is sent instead. Another notification or text is sent when you are one minute away from your destination. If you are delayed while you are traveling, Twist will also notify your recipient and give an updated arrival time. If you have the app installed, you can open it to see where the person who sent you the Twist is, but you don’t have to if the notifications are enough for you.

Your Home and Work addresses are saved as Shortcuts and shown when you first enter the app. Under those, your Calendar and Recent Places are listed for easy access. Twist is available for Android and iOS.

Twist

While both Glympse and Twist are great apps for letting people know when you are going to get somewhere, Twist is our favorite and earned a spot on the main screens of our phones. Can’t recommend it enough.

— Carla